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What is an Irrevocable Trust?

July 17, 2017

An irrevocable trust is a trust that may not be altered, amended or revoked by the creator of the trust. The reason you may consider creating an irrevocable trust is because all gifts you make to the trust are treated like gifts made to a “third party,” which means the gifts are excluded from your… Read more »

I Don’t Need the Money From My Father, and I’d Like to Pass it to My Children Instead, Without Any Adverse Tax Consequences. Is That When a Disclaimer Might be Used?

June 26, 2017

Yes. A qualified disclaimer could be the perfect tool to accomplish this goal. If you disclaim your interest in the inheritance after your father is deceased, but before you accept any benefit from the inheritance, the inheritance will pass as though you predeceased your father. In that case we would look to the terms of… Read more »

What is a Disclaimer?

June 22, 2017

A disclaimer is an irrevocable refusal to accept an interest in property. In other words, it is the legal way of saying “no thank you.” The effect of a disclaimer is that the disclaimed property will be treated as if it had never been transferred to the person making the disclaimer. Most states have statutes… Read more »

How is My Personal Property Handled in a Trust?

June 20, 2017

Personal property such as jewelry, antiques, artwork, family heirlooms, and household effects can be passed on to your beneficiaries through a specific bequest: “I leave my Ming Vase to my sister Betty.” But for most people, it would be overwhelming to try to inventory and choose a beneficiary for every last item you own. Instead,… Read more »

What is a Community Property Agreement and How Does it Interact with My Trust?

June 16, 2017

If you live in one of the ten community property states, your state law may allow for a community property agreement. This is an agreement between spouses that acknowledges that all assets are community property. In addition, it stipulates that in the event of the death of one of the spouses, all of the assets… Read more »

My Husband Did Not Have a Revocable Living Trust.

June 14, 2017

He only had a will and there were no big problems when he passed away, so why do I need a revocable living trust? This specific situation would need to be reviewed by your professional advisors, of course, but one reason you may have experienced no problems is because you and your husband owned everything… Read more »

What Happens to My Assets if None of the Beneficiaries Named in My Living Trust Survive Me?

June 12, 2017

Your living trust should include an “ultimate distribution” provision that addresses the unlikely scenario that all of your beneficiaries—typically your spouse, children or grandchildren—do not survive you. What is sometimes referred to as a the “family disaster” provision might specify that your assets would pass to designated “contingent” beneficiaries such as your siblings, nieces or… Read more »

What Do Unmarried or Same-Sex Couples Need to Consider in Preparing an Estate Plan?

June 08, 2017

Unmarried couples face special estate planning challenges. For those with larger estates, the “unlimited marital deduction” described in Chapter 4 is not available as a planning tool. What if an unmarried couple, like the majority of Americans, never gets around to doing any estate planning? If one partner were to become incapacitated, the healthy partner… Read more »

Is it Possible to Establish a Trust for My Pets?

June 06, 2017

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the importance of pets in people’s lives, and the affection that they feel for them, than the events which followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the failure of the levees in New Orleans. When rescuers arrived, some people who had been trapped for days by the floodwaters refused to leave their… Read more »

What is a Lifetime Trust?

June 02, 2017

A Lifetime Trust keeps the assets within the trust for the lifetime of the beneficiary. This trust avoids probate and has asset protection features .The majority of lifetime trusts distribute income and principal as needed for health, education, lifestyle maintenance, and support. This is typically the most protective type of trust, especially when co-trustees are… Read more »